August 2, 2023

Why do we use wheat as our primary source of plant-based protein?

Photo of a Man and a little girl sight seeing across the field of wheat during sunset.
  1. We already work extensively with wheat.

Ensemble Foods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tereos. Tereos is a cooperative of farmers who mainly grow wheat and sugar beets. Wheat is therefore in our line of expertise. Once wheat is harvested and processed into flour, another process occurs in which the flour is separated into starch and proteins. The starches are a form of carbohydrate that can be transformed into different forms like sugars. The proteins, on the other hand, are a gold mine: they provide the protein that we use to create the Ensemble plant-based product. This way, we ensure that every part of the crop is used, thus reinforcing our commitment to a more sustainable way of farming and manufacturing.

  1. It allows us to get the right texture.

One of the difficulties in developing plant-based protein is achieving the correct texture. We look for something that is both pleasurable to the tongue, relatively easy to consume — meaning it is not tough or excessively chewy — and that mimics, to a certain extent, the texture of animal protein. Many plant-based protein products rely on sources such as pea and soy protein to achieve the desired texture. However, these ingredients present some disadvantages: pea protein is much more expensive, and in some cases they both require the use of additives like methylcellulose or other stabilizers to create said texture. After much trial and error, we found out that wheat, with the addition of chickpeas, produces the best texture and mouthfeel.

  1. It provides a neutral flavor

Another characteristic of plant-based protein products is their taste: they often showcase the overwhelming flavor of whatever protein source they use. In the case of soy and pea, the aftertaste can be unpleasant or otherwise difficult to get around. Wheat does not present this issue as it provides a rather neutral and pleasant base. It also makes it the perfect foundation for any meal because you can cook it with any flavor profile you desire! You can view some recipe ideas here

  1. It is a clean source.

Last but not least, wheat protein is a clean source of protein. It is a naturally present nutrient in wheat. When making flour, this protein is extracted from its source, making it a surprising and delicious form of plant-based protein.

In conclusion, wheat protein is a reliable, sustainable, and wholesome source of plant-based protein. Despite its negative portrayal online, we believe in its effectiveness and benefits. After all, wheat is part of our company’s DNA.


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